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What to do when you lose power for an extended period of time

With Hurricane Henri on the way, widespread power outages are expected.

CONNECTICUT, USA — With Hurricane Henri on the way, so is the chance for widespread, extended power outages.

Power companies are unsure how fast power will be restored following the storm, but warn it may take a few days depending on the damage. Here's how to prepare and stay safe:

To report an outage, head to Eversource or United Illuminating's website or call:

Eversource - 1-800-286-2000

UI -  1-800-722-5584

When preparing, take an inventory of the items you need that rely on electricity. Plan for batteries and other alternative power sources to meet your needs when the power goes out, such as a portable charger or power bank. Be sure to have flashlights for every household member. 

Have enough nonperishable food and water. Keep freezers and refrigerators closed. The refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours. Use coolers with ice if necessary. Monitor temperatures with a thermometer. 

When in doubt, throw it out! With food, anything that's been exposed to temperatures of 40 degrees or higher for two hours or more, or that has an unusual order, color, or texture, throw it away. 

Also, discard any refrigerated medication after a day with no power unless the drug's label says otherwise. Call your doctor or pharmacist immediately for a new supply.

Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Generators, camp stoves, or charcoal grills should always be used outdoors and at least 20 feet away from windows. Never use a gas stovetop or oven to heat your home. 

Turn off or disconnect appliances, equipment, or electronics. Power may return with momentary surges or spikes that can cause damage. 

Check-in with your town or city to see if cooling shelters are open nearby. 

Head to Ready.gov for more resources.

RELATED: CT leaders urge residents to prepare as Hurricane Henri approaches

RELATED: What you need to know to prepared for Tropical Storm Henri



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